Chelmsford City Council

Make a building control application

There are three types of building control application, and you need to decide which application is best for the work you are carrying out.

You can find out more about the different types below, including how to apply for them, and also find out about charges and what happens next.

When making an application, you can submit the application yourself or employ someone (such as a builder or architect) to help you. 

You can also use someone registered with a competent person scheme to carry out your work, although this is not a service we offer.

If you submit a full plans application, you will need to provide plans and documents before you start work, showing all construction details.

We will assess your plans and consult with other authorities if necessary (such as fire or sewage). We will let you know if we need more information or if you need to change your proposals.

We will issue a decision notice within five weeks, assuming you have submitted a valid application and paid the correct charge. We may extended this to two months, with your consent.

The decision notice will tell you if:

  • we approve your plans and you can start work
  • you need to modify your plans before you can start work
  • you need to provide more details
  • we are issuing a conditional approval
  • we reject your plans

If we approve your plans, your approval notice will be valid for three years from the date we accepted your application.


What you need to apply

For a full plans application, you need to submit:

  • a completed application form
  • copies of architectural drawings and construction specification
  • the correct payment for the proposed work

Apply for Full Plans


If you are unable to apply online, you can find out about other ways to apply.

If you submit a building notice, we do not need to see detailed construction plans, so the process is quicker than submitting full plans. A building notice helps you to start work quickly, but is most appropriate for small work.

You need to be confident that your work will comply with the building regulations if you submit a building notice.

You can start work 48 hours after you have submitted your building notice, and do not need to wait for a decision notice from us.

Your building notice will be valid for three years from the date we received it.


What you need to apply

For a building notice, you need to submit:

  • a completed application form
  • a plan of the site if you are building a new house or extension
  • such a plan must show the size and position of the proposed work
  • the correct payment for the proposed work

Apply for Building notice


If you are unable to apply online, you can find out about other ways to apply.

Regularisation is for work that started on or after 11 November 1985 that was not covered by a building regulations submission when it was done.

If the work does not comply with the building regulations, you will need to carry out remedial work.

Once the work complies, we can issue a certificate of regularisation.

A certificate of regularisation does not give you retrospective planning permission, and you may need to apply for this as well. 


Who can apply

You can apply for regularisation if:

  • you are the owner of the property
  • the building work started on or after 11 November 1985
  • it was not covered by a building regulations submission at the time

We will only issue a certificate of regularisation once the building work complies with building regulations.


What you need to apply

For regularisation of unauthorised works, you need to submit:

  • a completed application form
  • plans and details of the unauthorised work
  • the correct payment for the work undertaken

As part of the application process, you will have to allow a site inspection and you also may have to: 

  • submit professionally prepared plans
  • expose internal structures or create trial holes
  • carry out remedial work

Apply for regularisation


If you are unable to apply online, you can find out about other ways to apply.

You need to pay the correct charge for your building control application, or it will not be valid.

You can view the current:

The application process will be delayed if you do not pay the correct amount, meaning it will take much longer for you to receive approval.

You can choose to pay:

  • online when you apply, as part of the application process
  • by cheque
  • via invoice online

You can download and view our Scheme for the Recovery of Building Regulation Charges and Associated Matters.

You can also read our guidance notes about supplementary charges and refunds.
 

Once we receive your application, we will:

  • validate your application. We will check that you have submitted all of the required documents and drawings, and you have paid the correct fee. If there are any problems, we will contact you.
     
  • assign you a building control officer
     
  • send you an Inspection Service Plan (unless you have applied for regularisation). The plan tells you when you need to make site inspection appointments during your project.
     
  • carry out ongoing site inspections (unless you have applied for regularisation). At pre-defined stages throughout the work, we will carry out site inspections. You can check your Inspection Service Plan to find out when to book an inspection.
     
  • carry out a completion inspection (unless you have applied for regularisation). When the work is complete, we will carry out a completion inspection.
     
  • issue a completion certificate. If all building work complies with the building regulations, we will issue you with a completion certificate. If you plan to sell your property in the future, you will need a completion certificate.


Starting work

If you have submitted a building notice, you can start work 48 hours after you submitted your application. You do not have to wait for a decision.

If you have submitted full plans, you do not need to wait for us to issue a decision notice. However, you will be starting at your own risk, so you may want to wait until we have approved the plans. This takes between six and eight weeks.


Utility infrastructure

Before you start any construction, you may encounter gas supply services, electricity cables, water supply pipes, telephone and broadband cables that are not covered by the Building Regulations. 

It is your responsibility to comply with the requirements set out by your utility supplier. 

The Building Control Officer, when visiting the site, will not have detailed knowledge of what each of these suppliers require for different circumstances.


Validity

If you have submitted a building notice, it is valid for three years from the date we received it.

If you have submitted full plans and we have approved them, the approval notice is valid for three years after we have issued it.

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Last updated: 08 November 2021

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